Christopher Fischer

Associate Professor, Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Primary office:
2056A Malott Hall

Research Focus: Astrobiophysics, Biophysics

Professional Background:

2010-present, Associate Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Kansas
2004-2010: Assistant Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Kansas
2002-2004: NIH Postdoctoral Fellow
2000-2002: Postdoctoral Research Associate


2000: Ph.D., Applied Physics, University of Michigan
1998: M.S., Applied Physics, University of Michigan
1994, A.B., Physics, Magna Cum Laude, Washington University

Honors Awards:

2002-2004: NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship
1999-2000: NIA Multidisciplinary Research Training Grant
1997-1999: NIH Molecular Biophysics Training Grant
1994-1996: Reagents Fellowship, University of Michigan
Member, Biophysical Society 

Research Interests:

My general research interests include both the kinetics and the thermodynamics of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions as well as the development and implementation of new biophysical methodologies and techniques for the study of these phenomena. The specific research focus of my group is trying to understand the interactions between the ISW2 enzyme, a member of the ISWI family of chromatin remodeling proteins, and eukaryotic DNA. We are developing a quantitative physical description of the mechanism by which this molecular motor utilizes the chemical potential energy it gains from ATP binding and hydrolysis to perform the mechanical work of regulating chromatin structure. 

Selected Publications:

  • Shuja S. Malik, Evan Rich, Ramya Viswanathan, Bradley R. Cairns, and Christopher J. Fischer. Allosteric Interactions of DNA and Nucleotides with S. cerevisiae RSC. Biochemistry, 50 (2011):7881-90. PMID: 21834590.
  • Eric J. Tomko, Christopher J. Fischer, and Timothy M. Lohman. Ensemble methods for monitoring enzyme translocation along single stranded nucleic acids.  Methods, 51 (2010):269-276.  PMID: 20371288.
  • Ali R. Khaki, Cassandra Field, Shuja Malik, Anita Niedziela-Majka, Stephanie A. Leavitt, Ruth Wang, Magdeleine Hung, Roman Sakowicz, Katherine M. Brendza, and Christopher J. Fischer. The Macroscopic Rate of Nucleic Acid Translocation by Hepatitis C Virus Helicase NS3h Is Dependent on Both Sugar and Base Moieties.  Journal of Molecular Biology, 400 (2010):354-378.  PMID: 20451531.
  • Dennis L. Matlock, Laxmi Yeruva, Alicia K. Byrd, Samuel G. Mackintosh, Clint Langston, Carrie Brown, Craig E. Cameron, Christopher J. Fischer, and Kevin D. Raney.  Investigation of translocation, DNA unwinding, and protein displacement by NS3h, the helicase domain from the Hepatitis C virus helicase.  Biochemistry, 49 (2010):2097-2109.  PMID: 20108974
  • Saroja K. Weeratunga, Scott Lovell, Huili Yao, Kevin P. Battaile, Christopher J. Fischer, Casey E. Gee, and Mario Rivera.  Structural Studies of Bacterioferritin B from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Suggest a Gating Mechanism for Iron Uptake via the Ferroxidase Center. Biochemistry, 49 (2010):1160-1175.  PMID: 20067302
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Lake Wooten, Eric J. Tomko and Timothy M. Lohman.  Kinetics of Motor Protein Translocation on Single Stranded DNA, in Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 587, Mohamed M. Abdelhaleem, Editor, 2010, Springer: New York, NY. p. 45-56.
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Kazuhiro Yamada, and Daniel J. Fitzgerald.  Kinetic Mechanism for Single stranded DNA binding and Translocation by S. cerevisiae Isw2.  Biochemistry, 48 (2009): 2960-2968.  PMID: 19203228
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Anjanabha Saha and Bradley R. Cairns.  Kinetic Model for the ATP-dependent Translocation of S. cerevisiae RSC along Double-stranded DNA.  Biochemistry, 46 (2007): 12416-12426.   PMID: 17918861
  • Eric J. Tomko, Christopher J. Fischer, Anita Niedziela-Majka and Timothy M. Lohman, A Discontinuous Stepping Mechanism for E. coli UvrD Monomer Translocation along Single Stranded DNA. Molecular Cell, 2007: in press.
  • Katherine M. Brendza, Wei Cheng, Christopher J. Fischer, Marla A. Chesnik, Anita Niedziela-Majka, and Timothy M. Lohman. Auto-inhibition of E. coli Rep Monomer Helicase Activity by Its 2B Sub-domain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102 (2005): 10076-10081
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Nasib K. Maluf and Timothy M. Lohman, Mechanism of ATP-Dependent Translocation of E. coli UvrD Monomers Along Single-Stranded DNA, Journal of Molecular Biology 344, 1287-1309 (2004)

Dr. Fischer's Biophysics Lab Facilities at KU

Department Communications

Colloquia         Seminars         Public Events         AAL



Department            Alumni


Mr. Bob Show              Colloquia

Alumni Remembrances          Public Lectures

Departmental Calendar

Paper of the Week

Omidi, N.; Sulaiman, A. H.; Kurth, W.; Madanian*, H.; Cravens*, T.; Sergis, N.; Dougherty, M. K.; Edberg, N. J. T. *KU Authors

See previous papers

Mr. Bob T-Shirts: Lab Support
Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
KU Today
RT @KUWBball : Dress in your 90's best TONIGHT and you could walk away with this TV! 🆚 Oklahoma State 🕢 7 p.m. 📍 Allen Fieldhouse #KUwbb h…

Social Media

Find us on Facebook